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When I was 15, I fell in love...


Photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

When I was 15 I fell in love with a man. No, not my husband, I didn’t meet him for almost another 10 years.  I actually fell in love with Charles Rennie Mackintosh, or to be more accurate, his work.

Mackintosh lived and worked as an architect, interior designer and artist in Scotland in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. He was known for designing loads of significant buildings in Glasgow, in particular the Glasgow School of Art.

Photo by Tony Hisgett

I discovered his work when I was doing some research for a textiles project at school and completely fell in love with the clean lines in his work, which also formed a great juxtaposition with the artwork his wife produced (who was also an artist).

Don’t know who I’m talking about? I bet you recognise his iconic rose design, which has been replicated on so many gift items over the years, you may even have a mug in your cupboard bearing one of his images, without even realising.

Photo by Dave Souza

But the thing about his designs which amazes me the most, is how ahead of their time they really were.  When you look at his designs, and their minimal nature, they still look contemporary today. Yet he produced them at the end of the Victorian era - a time when frills and flounces were all the rage and when the more intricate designs of artists like William Morris were in fashion.

Yes, Mackintosh’s designs are still so relevant to life today, and you could easily imagine one of his statement chairs gracing the hallway of a super modern, minimally decorated living room.

Photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

Seeing his designs led to a fascination for me into the shapes, lines and forms created by objects, and into a love of sculptural jewellery.  I’m truly inspired by shapes created by sculpture, architecture, or even shadows of everyday objects, and seeing how I can recreate these shapes in silver, so they can be worn. You’ll see this inspiration in all my designs.

And the challenge is to make these abstract shapes into something that can be comfortably worn - as for me it’s super important that jewellery is also comfortable, as well as stylish.  That means a chunky ring that still lets you type easily, a bracelet you can take on and off easily, a necklace that lies perfectly and earrings that don’t weigh you down.

 Photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

There’s something really satisfying about taking your inspiration (whatever it is) and turning it into something new - whatever your artistic medium is.  Appreciating the beauty in something enriches our lives and brings joy like nothing else can.

What are you inspired by?  Are you bowled over by the beauty of nature or are you captivated by the colours of the sea? I’d love to know what makes you tick, and how it inspires you in everyday life.

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